Grand Prix Classic




Round 8 - Canadian Grand Prix
Montreal, 10 - 12 June, 1983

At the weekend of the Canadian Grand Prix it was finally confirmed that the organisers of the Caesar's Palace Grand Prix had bought out their contract and wouldn't be putting on a race in 1983. With the New York circuit not ready until 1984, the season would be down to 15 rounds, as Jean-Marie Balestre and Bernie Ecclestone agreed that it would be difficult to find an adequate replacement in time.

The trip to Montreal was to be the last trip to North America in 1983. While the circuit wasn't the fastest on the calendar, the long back straight would be enough to make it favourable to the turbo cars - as would all of the remaining tracks on the calendar.


Entry Notes

As expected, RAM re-entered the series with CanAm driver Jacques Villeneuve taking over their car. The Canadian was the younger brother of the late Gilles, and was the focus of the enthusiastic local media for the whole weekend. He had previously failed to qualify an Arrows at the 1981 Canadian and Caesar's Palace rounds, and secured the seat thanks to a slew of sponsors, including Canadian Tyre (US $40,000), Avis ($25,000) and Bombardier ($10,000 - the Montreal company built the snowmobiles Villeneuve raced in the winter off-season).

[Full Entry]


Qualifying

Whereas in 1982 the weather seemed to be grey in honour of the recently-killed Gilles Villeneuve and contributed to a sombre occasion, in 1983 everything was bright and hot - a little too hot if anything. Across the two sessions it was the three championship contenders - Prost, Piquet and Tambay - battling it out with Arnoux, a battle the latter eventually won. Prost lined up on the front row alongside, with Piquet 3rd and Tambay 4th.

Patrese and Cheever shared the third row ahead of Winkelhock and de Cesaris, with 9th-place Rosberg the only Cosworth runner in the top 12 - ahead of the Tolemans and de Angelis. Most of the DFV runners were some three seconds off the pace of the faster turbo cars, and were set for a long day on Sunday.

One who wouldn't was Villeneuve, who at least proved what a good job Salazar had been doing in the RAM March, the car failing to generate enough downforce to get the best out of its' Pirelli qualifiers. Despite finding nearly three seconds between Friday and Saturday, he was still nearly four tenths off making the grid, and joined Ghinzani in non-qualification.

[Full Grid & Practice Times]


Race

Sunday saw 45,000 spectators turn up, a very good turnout for the first Canadian Grand Prix without Gilles Villeneuve since 1976 - though as a reminder someone had chalked '27' behind the starting box for pole position. It was Ferrari 28 that would start there, though - and Rene Arnoux needed a good result in response to rumours his seat for 1984 was under threat. The start was delayed when a power cut hit Montreal, putting vital facilities off-line, but when things did get underway Arnoux made no mistake and shot away, followed by Prost, Patrese, Piquet, Tambay and Cheever. Patrese, another man whose job was less than secure for 1984, moved up to 2nd on the second lap but could do nothing to challenge Arnoux. Prost was suffering from a down-on-power engine, and was picked off by Piquet, Tambay and Cheever before half-distance, though Piquet would drop out of 3rd on lap 16 with a snapped accelerator cable.

Behind these, at a distance, came de Cesaris and Rosberg, having a mighty scrap for 7th. Alfa were still having trouble finding the balance between power and reliability, and didn't really have either - not only was de Cesaris unable to pull away from Rosberg, but his V8 was overheating. On lap 10 Rosberg tried to move past at the hairpin, but de Cesaris held his line and the Williams was briefly sent airborne. After taking a second to gather himself up, Rosberg deduced nothing was broken and set off after the Italian again, though Winkelhock and Laffite had both moved past in the meantime.

With his temperature refusing to drop, de Cesaris was forced to concede to all three, and Winkelhock briefly reached 6th before stopping with blistered tyres, handing the place to Rosberg. Now mid-distance was approaching, and the leaders were preparing for their stops. Prost was the first in from 5th on lap 33, and such was the speed of the front five 'works' turbos that even at his reduced pace he rejoined without being passed by Rosberg. Arnoux was in two laps later, losing out to Patrese, Cheever and Tambay (the American having overtaken the second Ferrari on lap 28). Cheever stopped the following lap, with Patrese's brief stint in the lead ending when he came in on lap 38; Tambay took over, but only for a lap before his own stop.

With all the crews doing a good job, it all shook out so the top six were in the same order they had been before the stops - Arnoux leading comfortably from Patrese, Cheever pressing on in third, Tambay in fourth, Prost hanging on in 5th and Rosberg in 6th lacking the horsepower to mount a serious challenge, but gaining on the beleaguered Renault. Behind them came Watson, who had once again come through the field in his usual manner, driving quickly and consistently, sparing his machinery and taking advantage of those unable to do the same. He was under heavy pressure from the impressive Boutsen, until the Belgian made a rather desperate attempt to get by at the first corner and lost part of his front wing. The resultant understeer caused Boutsen to back off, but he had impressed.

The rest of the midfield had largely destroyed themselves. Laffite's gearbox had broken soon after his fuel stop, de Cesaris' engine had let go, Lauda had spun off, the Tolemans made no great progress before retiring, Alboreto found the Tyrrell a middle-order car once again after the success of Detroit, Winkelhock never got going after his stop put him in traffic, Surer, de Angelis and Jarier had all disappeared in the first couple of laps and Mansell seemed to be going for a tyre change world record, making five stops before finally giving up on the handling of his Lotus - thankfully for the Englishman and his Italian team-mate, Gerard Ducarouge was in Norfolk working on a new car to properly harness the Renault engine.

The leaders seemed set with no-one really close enough to challenge anyone else until Patrese started to lose gears. Cheever and Tambay both passed him on lap 48, and he then spent three laps scuffling with the similarly afflicted Prost until the gearbox failed altogether - Patrese was yet to score points in 1983, despite Piquet being second in the standings going into the race. Just before this, Rosberg caught and passed the pair of them, and with his car getting more truculent by the lap, Prost was unable to fight back.

Arnoux won in dominant fashion, ending up some 42 seconds clear of Cheever, having simply drive out of sight after the stops. Tambay, having chosen softer tyres than Arnoux, was a safe third, but frustrated at being unable to challenge the Renault ahead of him, while Rosberg again proved that a Cosworth wasn't an excuse for a driver not giving his all, coming through for a fine 4th place. Prost struggled onto 5th knowing the brace of points might be vital in the championship battle, though he had to suffer the ignominy of being lapped by bitter rival Arnoux first, and Watson took the final point, a good effort from 20th on the grid. Boutsen took his second 7th place in three races, while Alboreto's lapped 8th gave him a rude reminder of where Tyrrell really stood. Team-mate Sullivan was 9th after a fine drive following a stop for a new rear wing, but was disqualified when his Tyrrell was found to be 4kg underweight. This time the FIA decided to move the others up a place, so 9th went to Winkelhock, despite the fact he had stopped three laps from the end with a faulty fuel system, and Baldi was 10th and last.


Result

Pos.
Driver Car
Laps
Time/Retirement
Grid
1
Rene Arnoux Ferrari
70
1h 48m 31.838s
1
2
Eddie Cheever Renault
70
+ 42.029s
6
3
Patrick Tambay Ferrari
70
+ 52.610s
4
4
Keke Rosberg Williams-Cosworth
70
+ 1m 17.048s
9
5
Alain Prost Renault
69
+ 1 lap
2
6
John Watson McLaren-Cosworth
69
+ 1 lap
20
7
Thierry Boutsen Arrows-Cosworth
69
+ 1 lap
15
8
Michele Alboreto Tyrrell-Cosworth
69
+ 1 lap
17
DQ
Danny Sullivan Tyrrell-Cosworth
68
+ 2 laps/Underweight
22
9
Manfred Winkelhock ATS-BMW
67
+ 3 laps/Fuel system
7
10
Mauro Baldi Alfa Romeo
67
+ 3 laps
26
R
Riccardo Patrese Brabham-BMW
56
Gearbox
5
R
Derek Warwick Toleman-Hart
47
Turbo
12
R
Bruno Giacomelli Toleman-Hart
43
Engine
10
R
Nigel Mansell Lotus-Cosworth
43
Handling
18
R
Andrea de Cesaris Alfa Romeo
42
Engine
8
R
Jacques Laffite Williams-Cosworth
37
Gearbox
13
R
Raul Boesel Ligier-Cosworth
32
Wheel bearing
15
R
Roberto Guerrero Theodore-Cosworth
27
Engine
21
R
Corrado Fabi Osella-Cosworth
26
Engine
25
R
Johnny Cecotto Theodore-Cosworth
17
Differential
23
R
Nelson Piquet Brabham-BMW
15
Throttle linkage
3
R
Niki Lauda McLaren-Cosworth
11
Spin
19
R
Elio de Angelis Lotus-Renault
1
Throttle linkage
11
R
Marc Surer Arrows-Cosworth
0
Clutch
14
R
Jean-Pierre Jarier Ligier-Cosworth
0
Gearbox
16

Fastest Lap: Patrick Tambay (Ferrari), 1:30.851s

[Team-by-Team report]


Tables

Driver's Championship

Pos.
Driver
Points
1
Alain Prost
30
2=
Nelson Piquet
27
2=
Patrick Tambay
27
4
Keke Rosberg
25
5
Rene Arnoux
17
6
John Watson
16
7
Eddie Cheever
14
8=
Niki Lauda
10
8=
Jacques Laffite
10
10
Michele Alboreto
9
11
Marc Surer
4
12
Danny Sullivan
2
13=
Johnny Cecotto
1
13=
Nigel Mansell
1
13=
Mauro Baldi
1

Constructor's Championship

Pos.
Constructor
Points
1
Renault
44
2
Ferrari
41
3
Williams
35
4
Brabham
27
5
McLaren
26
6
Tyrrell
11
7
Arrows
4
8=
Theodore
1
8=
Alfa Romeo
1
8=
Lotus
1